CHS event offers fitting tributes

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The Sunday dedication and celebration of the NEW Central High School only lasted a pleasant but informative 54 minutes.

One gets an opportunity to assess the mannerisms, speaking ability and general body language of those making presentations or sharing remarks. This is not the only way to judge a person, but it's one yardstick nevertheless.

Central Student Senate presidents LISA CRAIN and ANDREW MORETON capably represented the students (along with the orchestra and choral groups).

The generous and popular choice to bless the school was BROTHER DAVID ANTHONY, principal of Notre Dame Regional High School ... the "head Bulldog" as he described himself. Brother David framed the theme that all of the speakers addressed: thanks to the citizens of Cape who passed the bond issue to make the new high school possible. Brother David said "he was proud of the city of Cape Girardeau which recognized the importance of education."

He gave us three guidelines: "Know yourself" -- Socrates, "Control yourself" -- Cicero and "Give of yourself" -- Jesus.

Central librarian JULIA HOWES JORGENSEN gave an impassioned introduction of praise to her "mentor and our U.S. senator, JEAN CARNAHAN."

Carnahan charged the crowd to meet their obligation to support the teachers, students and the school.

Hers was a fully scripted speech that suffered from the volume of the sound system for those of us sitting in the back of the room.

DR. BOB FOX, president of the board of education, superintendent MARK BOWLES and Central principal MIKE COWAN were all comfortable with their opportunity to thank the many people involved in the new facility ... including introducing the associate principals, department heads and faculty.

The first honorary diploma was given to GIB ZOELLNER of Kiefner Bros. Inc. (general contractors for construction of the new school) for his dedication, focus and commitment to seeing the building was well-constructed and completed ahead of time. It was a fitting award and a truly generous touch.

A tour followed with refreshments. Many proud and happy people enjoyed the occasion and were wowed by the building.

Incidentally, I will be the last of six or seven people to speak at the SOUTHEAST MISSOURI HOSPITAL fund raiser Oct. 10 which salutes former mayor AL SPRADLING and former state representative MARY KASTEN. All of the nice things known about these two will probably be said before my remarks ... so I'd appreciate anything one might mail me so I can balance the ledger ... purely in the name of fair and balanced reporting -- you know, we report and you decide. Thanks.

Sunday's St. Louis POST-DISPATCH had a front page feature on JEAN CARNAHAN and JIM TALENT and discussed in depth their backgrounds, experience and the campaign. The article covered almost two pages, and I felt it was well-balanced.

This is a close and important race, and newspapers around the state are giving it full coverage. The Associated Press has provided Sunday features for the last two weeks and will continue until the election on Nov. 5 (just seven more Sundays).

Last Friday, Jim Talent announced he had revisited each of Missouri's 114 counties and the city of St. Louis in his campaign for the U.S. Senate.

He has traveled nearly 60,000 miles, held dozens of town-hall meetings and visited with thousands of Missourians.

Talent has visited every Missouri county in each of his statewide campaigns. He also maintained a 95 percent attendance record over eight years while serving in the U.S. House, by far the best record of any member of Congress who was serving in Washington and running for statewide office.

Torrid-celli: Daschle on the hot seat for misconduct: After a mild slap on the wrist, New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli is seemingly off the hook, notwithstanding evidence that he accepted bribes and gifts from a political contributor. Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Daschle is doing his best to minimize adverse exposure for Torricelli, who is up for re-election in November. The majority leader pooh-poohed the findings of the Senate ethics panel, saying that they were "sensational allegations," though even Torricelli himself publicly apologized for wrongdoing. For those of us who are familiar with Daschle's modus operandi, this is hardly a surprise. After all, if Torricelli loses his seat, Democrats could lose control of the Senate. Over in the House, Rep. James Traficant was just sentenced to eight years in prison for similar conduct. Talk about a double standard. Maybe the term "Senate ethics" really is an oxymoron.

-- Washington Update

The Missouri Gun and Knife show is coming to the Show Me Center Sept. 27-29.

The largest show of its kind (over 300 tables) to take place between St. Louis and Memphis, the show will feature both antique and modern guns and knives.

Show hours will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 with women and children under age 10 FREE. All firearm regulations will be enforced, and children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

A secret court ruling on keeping separate criminal and intelligence investigations has put John Ashcroft back in Democratic cross hairs. But the real story is that the government is better at protecting civil liberties than before Sept. 11. The ruling reveals that in at least 74 cases Bill Clinton's FBI presented the court with misleading or false information to get search and surveillance warrants.

By raising the issue, Ashcroft is fighting terrorism while giving the court the ability to stomp out any abuse of power.

On Sept. 11, Americans paid a price for a wall between concurrent investigations. A jailed alleged terrorist -- such as, say, Zacarias Moussaoui -- can't commit mass acts of violence. -- Wall Street Journal

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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